There is no doubt that advertisement is a very powerful tool when it comes to influencing our choice of brands. TV commercials are capable of shaping even toddlers’ desires for certain commodities. Most of us, consciously or inadvertently, base our decisions about what to buy on advertisements. However, it is never a good idea to have blind brand loyalty since most of the time, the only big difference between a popular national brand product and its generic version might just be in the pricing only.
How Do I Know When To Buy Generics And When Not to?
At times the brand-name products might offer you something unique, but in most of the times, they never. The best way to easily make accurate conclusions is through the following tips:
Do your own independent comparison.
The easiest way to find out the difference is by buying a brand-name product and its generic version, then going ahead to use them both concurrently. For instance you can try this on paper towels or diapers. Apply this experimentation on various commodities and make your own conclusions on what commodities are fit as generics and when it is worth spending an extra coin on a brand-name product.
Check out labels.
Hold the brand-name product and its generic version side by side and check out their labels with a view of making a comparison of their ingredients. In case you are buying over-the-counter medicines, check out the components making up the medicine (Active ingredients)
Some of the Brand-Name Commodities with Great Generic Brands
1 – Over-the-counter medications
According to the requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brand-name and generic medications must always meet the same safety standards and contain similar ingredients. It is very easy for people to think that if a commodity costs more, then it is automatically of better quality. But this is never the case for generic drugs since their quality standards are always similar.
2 – Water
To save some money, store brands are always the best, whenever you need bottled water. But you can always forget about bottled water and go for tap water – the typical water generic. All you need is a good filter to run your tap water through. Compared to tap water, even generic bottled water is unnecessarily expensive and not any safer since research has shown that a quarter of all bottled water stocked in stores originates directly from taps. As a matter of fact, the government has no requirement of bottled water to be any safer than tap water; instead, the reverse is true. Considering all these the facts, buying generic water brands is always advisable instead of brand-name water.
3 – Milk
Your milk is likely to be fresher if your dairy is more local. Always check out the bottle and carton labels to see the origin of the milk. You might just discover that the more expensive brand-name product actually originates from the same dairy as the cheaper store-brand product. The same applies to groceries. It is no wonder then that store-brand milk and groceries are normally more popular among consumers. However, it is important to note that not all generics of dairy products might be the best. For instance, you might need to avoid generic yogurt since it is likely to contain excess sugar and additives.
4 – Prescription drugs
Just like it is the case with over-the-counter medications all the generic prescription drugs have to meet very stringent government guidelines. According to FDA, the generic brands of prescription drugs are just replicas of the brand-name medicines and they both come with the same dosage, strength, safety, quality, performance characteristics, route of administration, as well as the intended use. The best thing about generics is that, they can save you up to 95% of the total cost of your medicine.
5 – Baby Formula
Just like most foodstuffs and drugs, baby formula is also regulated by the FDA which sees to it that generics retain the same quality standards as those of the brand-name products. This is one product that is taken very seriously by the FDA since any deficiency of essential ingredients in the baby formula might cause serious health and growth defects on young children. Therefore, as much as your baby might be choosy and prefers some brands of baby formula to others, all the baby formulas in the US, whether brand –name or generic, have to meet the same strict FDA standards of safety and quality.